Sierra Leone + 1 more

First Swiss-donated doses ship to Sierra Leone, as part of 4 million dose pledge

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  • As part of a donation of 4 million doses to COVAX by Switzerland, 24,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have reached Sierra Leone. 400,000 more doses should ship in the coming weeks.

  • Gavi CEO Dr Seth Berkley: “As our host since the creation of Gavi, Switzerland has been a strong supporter of global vaccination – pledging funding to Gavi’s core budget and also to the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (Gavi COVAX AMC). This donation of 4 million doses strengthens Swiss leadership in global health.”

Geneva, 11 October 2021 – The first shipment of a Swiss donation of 4 million doses has arrived in Sierra Leone, with 24,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine touching down in Freetown on 9 October 2021. Over 400,000 additional doses will be reaching a number of countries in Africa and Asia in the coming weeks.

As the host country of Gavi, Switzerland has long been a strong supporter of Gavi's mission and vision. The Swiss federal government has scaled up its contribution to Gavi in recent years, pledging CHF 10 million for routine immunisation programmes in 2020 to help deliver life-saving vaccines to children around the world. Switzerland has also stepped up to support COVAX, pledging CHF 20 million in 2020 and an additional 125 million in 2021 to the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (Gavi COVAX AMC) to help buy vaccines for people in lower-income countries and territories. This recent dose donation builds upon that support.

“As our host since the creation of Gavi, Switzerland has been a strong supporter of global vaccination – pledging funding to Gavi’s core budget and also to the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (Gavi COVAX AMC),” said Gavi CEO Dr. Seth Berkley. “This donation of 4 million doses strengthens Swiss leadership in global health.”

These doses donated by Switzerland are produced by the AstraZeneca manufacturing network. Donating through COVAX helps to increase vaccine coverage, ensures that no dose goes to waste, and helps to bring an end to the acute phase of the pandemic. The design and operationalization of the COVAX dose sharing mechanism is being supported by a contribution of CAD 5 million from Canada.

The donation of doses via COVAX are enabled via tripartite agreements between Gavi, manufacturers, and donating countries. The shipments to countries will be enabled by COVAX delivery partners UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Hundreds of millions of doses have already been pledged to COVAX by a number of countries in response to short-term supply challenges and the rise of new variants. Working with donor governments to operationalise growing numbers of dose-sharing pledges, COVAX expects to see more deliveries of donated doses in the weeks and months to come.

Notes to editors

About COVAX

COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator , is co-led by CEPI, Gavi and WHO – working in partnership with developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers, UNICEF, PAHO, the World Bank, and others. It is the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both high-income and lower-income countries.

Gavi’s role in COVAX

Gavi leads on procurement and delivery at scale for COVAX: designing and managing the COVAX Facility and the Gavi COVAX AMC and working with its traditional Alliance partners UNICEF and WHO, along with governments, on country readiness and delivery. As part of this role, Gavi hosts the Office of the COVAX Facility to coordinate the operation and governance of the mechanism as a whole, holds financial and legal relationships with 193 Facility participants, and manages the COVAX Facility deals portfolio: negotiating advance purchase agreements with manufacturers of promising vaccine candidates to secure doses on behalf of all COVAX Facility participants. Gavi also coordinates design, operationalisation and fundraising for the Gavi COVAX AMC, the mechanism that provides access to donor-funded doses of vaccine to 92 lower-income economies. As part of this work, Gavi provides funding and oversight for UNICEF procurement and delivery of vaccines to all AMC participants – operationalising the advance purchase agreements between Gavi and manufacturers – as well as support for partners’ and governments work on readiness and delivery. This includes tailored support to governments, UNICEF, WHO and other partners for cold chain equipment, technical assistance, syringes, vehicles, and other aspects of the vastly complex logistical operation for delivery. Gavi also co-designed, raises funds for and supports the operationalisation of the AMC’s no-fault compensation mechanism as well as the COVAX Humanitarian Buffer.

About Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped to immunise a whole generation – over 888 million children – and prevented more than 15 million future deaths, helping to halve child mortality in 73 lower-income countries. Gavi also plays a key role in improving global health security by supporting health systems as well as funding global stockpiles for Ebola, cholera, meningitis and yellow fever vaccines. After two decades of progress, Gavi is now focused on protecting the next generation and reaching the unvaccinated children still being left behind, employing innovative finance and the latest technology – from drones to biometrics – to save millions more lives, prevent outbreaks before they can spread and help countries on the road to self-sufficiency. Learn more at www.gavi.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Gavi is a co-convener of COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, together with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization (WHO). In its role Gavi is focused on procurement and delivery for COVAX: coordinating the design, implementation and administration of the COVAX Facility and the Gavi COVAX AMC and working with its Alliance partners UNICEF and WHO, along with governments, on country readiness and delivery.

The Vaccine Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. View the full list of donor governments and other leading organizations that fund Gavi’s work here.

MEDIA CONTACTS

Evan O’Connell +41 79 682 18 95 eoconnell@gavi.org

Iryna Mazur +41 79 429 3671 imazur@gavi.org

Meg Sharafudeen +41 79 711 55 54 msharafudeen@gavi.org

Laura Shevlin + 41 79 529 92 87 lshevlin@gavi.org

Cirũ Kariũki +41 79 913 94 41 ckariuki@gavi.org